By Real Simple
Updated May 11, 2007
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Records in different colors
Credit: Mark Lund

The Classics

  • Bob Dylan, The Times They Are A-Changin’: Dylan’s last fully acoustic album of the 60s captured the tumult of an era.
  • Judy Collins, Fifth Album: Grace, beauty, and enduring songs.
  • Tom Rush, The Circle Game: A deep, resonant voice matches the depth of emotion on this collection.
  • Phil Ochs, Pleasures of the Harbor: Ochs tackled politics with exquisite, simple music.
  • Aztec Two Step, Aztec Two Step: The duo surpasses Simon & Garfunkel for exquisite harmonies, musicianship, and emotion.

The Contemporaries

  • Dave Carter and Tracy Grammer, When I Go: Brilliant and masterful, influenced by everyone from Buddhists to cowboys.
  • Lowen & Navarro, Live Radio: Provocative and spellbinding songs of self-discovery.
  • Crooked Still, Hop High: Conservatory-trained musicians let loose on traditional bluegrass.
  • Sloan Wainwright, Sloan Wainwright: Her expansive, resonant voice merges with rich folk-rock arrangements.
  • Eliza Gilkyson, Paradise Hotel: Biting and poignant songs on the human condition.

    Picks by: Anne Saunders, the artistic director of the Falcon Ridge Folk Festival, in Hillsdale, New York.